Archive for the Working Parents Category

The Big Kid starts kindergarten in the fall, and I’ve been told by those who’ve gone before that it’s not too early to consider figuring out before and after school care for when September rolls around.

There are several options, and we aren’t sure which one we’ll end up with. There are two that provide transportation, regardless of school: Bangor Parks & Rec’s Kids Cave will transport to Bangor schools, and the Bangor Y will transport to Bangor & Brewer schools. (These options can change at any time, please contact the agencies I mention for current information!)

Kids Cave rates are $75 for full time, morning & afternoons, M-F. They have other rates for other configurations, as well.

The Bangor Y rates are $95 for full time, morning & afternoons, M-F, and they, too have some pro-rated options.

Another option would be to find a home daycare provider in your neighborhood who will provide before and after care, or to find a sitter to come to your home for those hours.

Complicating our situation is the baby, and the advent of having kids in two different places for the next few years, or, really, the rest of our lives as they are four years apart and will never be in the same school at the same time! Imagining the morning shuffle, which would end up with the big kid getting to a before school program just in time to get on a bus and go back to our neighborhood school, is daunting.

What have you done for before and after care? (And while we’re here, if anyone has recommendations for an option local to 14th Street, I’d love to hear about it, and you can email directly.) And here I thought the working parent gig would get easier and less expensive as they got older! I guess that’s not so true.

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I am a lucky mama, in that I happen to work at a job I love. I love my chosen career, I love the people I work with, and I love that I work in Bangor. My work/life balance is really not so bad — my home, my job, my husband’s job, and our daycare are all within a 2 mile radius. My ‘commute’ is a quick shot up Valley Ave, where I watch the seasons change over the Kenduskeag, where I have seen wildlife like deer, turkeys, foxes — in the city! — and I see kayakers and ice climbers and cyclists and runners, people enjoying that little stretch of road and stream and gravel path.  If there is a daycare sick call, my husband or I can get the girl in need in minutes, and have them home and tucked into bed (or, if necessary, at the ped’s office or walk-in care) in minutes, generally less than ten. It’s one of the reasons I love living in Bangor (and right now with gas at 3.89/gallon, it’s nice to not have to burn as much if we lived in the bedroom communities.)

But even in Bangor, there can be wobbles when it comes to one’s work/life balance. In trying to find out when the big girl’s Kindergarten (!) orientation is, I’ve called a few times, and just today, as I feared, it looks like her orientation will be on the same day as a conference I need to attend at UMaine. The date is not set, so I am crossing my fingers that they don’t finalize for that day, but if they do, I’ve already planned the day — I’ll go to my conference, miss a session to meet the big girl and my husband at the school, and as soon as it’s over, race back for the rest of the conference.  After I worked that out in my head, I attended a lecture at my employer, and several of us were in the back row, and someone asked why — and it turned out it was because we were all on daycare pickup duty, and the lecture was going to bump into that. Before it was over, the back row (me included) had to duck out, because we needed to fetch our kids.

On the flip side, my post-daycare pickup destination was the Breastfeeding Support Group at Central Street Farmhouse. This has been a great place to talk with other moms, many of them also working moms, which isn’t always easy. There are so many activities structured around the concept of the stay at home mom, but working moms have to, you know, work. Having this meeting scheduled to meet the needs of those of us that work (it’s Tuesdays, 5-7 pm — join us!) has been great. We discuss the logistics of pumping, nursing, daycare…. if you are a working, nursing mom, you should check it out.

And I do have pretty good balance, and a great husband who is a partner in this parenting thing, and not just being dragged along. When the sick kid call comes, we are comparing our schedules to see who is most easily able to take the day with the kid, and daycare is just as likely to call him with any concerns as they are to call me. He does drop off while I do pick up, and again, living in town and so close to everything means that, generally, our whole family is together again by 5:15. That’s pretty nice.

How is your work/life balance?

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Happy New Year! Here’s what’s on deck for special events this month — please email or comment to have your event added!:

Ongoing:

Weekly Breastfeeding Support, Central Street Farmhouse

Mondays, 10:30-11:30 am, or Tuesdays, 6-7pm (a great time for working and nursing mamas to get some support!)

Science Detectives, Maine Discovery Museum

Tuesdays, 11-1130, ages 3-5

Thursday Nature Time for Children, Fields Pond

10-11am, ages 2-4 $32 members, $38 nonmembers. Registration required.

Sunday Open Gym, Bangor Parks & Rec

Free open gym! 12-2 for grades K-5, and 2:30-4:30 for grades 6-8. Parents must accompany the younger group.

Skating lessons, Bangor Parks & Rec

Sundays, 1:50-2:50, Sawyer Arena. Registration required. $70, residents, $75 NR.

Storytimes:

Bangor Public Library

Brewer Public Library

Orono Public Library

Wednesday, January 12

Lowe’s Build and Grow program, Bangor Parks & Rec 647 Main Street

6-8pm, for grades 2-5 Free, registration required.

Parenting Discussion, Central Street Farmhouse

6-7pm, topic: Simplicity parenting, finding our way out of a consumer culture.

Friday, January 14

Maine Discovery Museum Parents’ Night Out, 5:30-9pm

“Drop the kids off for pizza and supervised play. Members $24/child, Non-members $28/child. Ages 4+. Pre-registration required. Siblings half price.”

Babywearing 101, Central Street Farmhouse

6-7pm Touch and try on a variety of carriers for your baby!

Saturday, January 15

Yoga and a Nature Adventure for Families, Fields Pond

1-2pm, $10 per family, registration required.

Gentle Discipline Parenting Class, Central Street Farmhouse

11-1pm, $20

Monday, January 17

Maine Discovery Museum is open from 9:30-5:30!

Saturday, January 22

Creatures Underneath, Fields Pond

1-2:30 pm, fees vary, registration required.

Tuesday, January 25

Sesame Street Live: 1-2-3 Imagine!, Bangor Civic Center

7pm, ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, January 26

Sesame Street Live: 1-2-3 Imagine!, Bangor Civic Center

10:30 am, and 7pm, ticket prices vary.

Saturday, January 29

Discounted lift tickets & lessons at Sugarloaf, via Bangor Parks & Rec

Save $32 on an all day lift ticket, or get a full learn to ski (or snowboard) package for $65. Contact Parks & Rec for more info.

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Halloween is a favorite holiday here in the BangorBaby household, and there is a ton going on this year in the Bangor area, aside from the traditional neighborhood trick or treating that happens on 10/31. Here’s a roundup of some seasonal fun, organized by date:

Bangor Parks & Rec Spooktacular Craft & Game Night
Friday, 10/22, Parks & Rec Center
Grades K-2 5:30-7:30
$10 Resident, $15 Non-Resident

Bangor Parks & Rec Halloween Party
Thursday, 10/28, Parks & Rec Center
Ages 2-5: 4:30-5:30  Ages 6-12: 5:30-7
Free! Note the separate times for the two age groups.

Bangor Fire Department Open House
Saturday, 10/30, 10-2 Central Station, Main Street
Costume contest 11am
Also, kids games, ambulance and fire engine tours, free balloons, and other contests!

UCP’s Pumpkins in the Park
Saturday, 10/30, 12-6pm, all ages
$2, Kids under 3 are free
This year’s theme is “Children’s Storybooks.” Local businesses and organizations carve pumpins and set up their own ‘patch,’ and the pumpkins illuminate the auditorium! Lots of kids in costume, and candy being handed out, and the proceeds benefit United Cerebral Palsy.

Downtown Bangor Halloween Block Party
There are several events, but for kids, the highlights would be:
Trick or Treating at downtown businesses from 3-5pm
Free admission to Maine Discovery Museum from 4-6pm
Mini costume parade, from Penobscot Theatre Company to Pickering Square, 5pm
And for everyone, there will be an outdoor market and live music in Pickering Square, as well as some events for the grown-ups that evening.

Bangor Mall Trick or Treating
10/31, 3-5pm, Kidgits Club members get a special treat at center court.

Maple Street, Bangor
10/31, late afternoon/evening.
It’s unofficial, so no link, but several families on the street LOVE Halloween, and other families endure the stampede, I think. It’s always a production! (We have gone earlier in the day to see the decorations, and then done trick or treating in our own neighborhood, which works out to be the best of both worlds for us.)

And don’t forget your own neighborhood! Halloween is a great evening to walk around and greet the people in your neighborhood (that’s what we’ll be doing!) and for safety tips on traditional trick-or-treating, check this out. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

And hey, if I’ve missed an event, comment below or on Facebook, and I’ll add it.

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The Robinson Ballet will be performing the children’s matinees The Little Tailor and Once Upon a Time at the Bangor Opera House and Ellsworth’s Grand Theater.

The Little Tailor
A story taken from the Grimm fairy tale. One fine morning, the Little Tailor is busily sewing when a young woman passes by selling cream. The luscious smell of the cream spreads to the walls, which are covered in flies. The flies surround The Tailor, who taking a cloth from his table strikes at the pesky flies. Much to his amazement, no fewer than seven lie dead. Thinking himself quite the clever fellow he embroiders himself a belt that reads  “7 WITH ONE BLOW”. Donning his belt he sets off to tell the world of his feat. After traveling for some time, he tires, and lies down to sleep. A group of peasants find The Tailor and read his belt. Thinking he must be some powerful person that go to tell The King. He greets the Tailor and asks him to rid their kingdom of three threats. If he is successful he may have the hand of his daughter, the princess, in marriage. The Tailor takes the challenge and the adventure begins!
Once Upon A Time
A ballet set to the first movement of Keith Emerson’s Piano Concerto #1. Our story takes us to an enchanted wood inhabited by dryads, nymphs, pixies and fairies. They are all gathering for a celebration. Three hikers chance upon the spot and a lively encounter ensues.

The Bangor Opera House:  Saturday, April 4 at 3PM. Tickets are 5.00 for children and adults. To purchase tickets contact Penobscot Theatre at (207) 942-3333 or online.

The Grand in Ellsworth: Saturday, April 11 at 3PM Tickets are 5.00 for children and adults. To purchase tickets contact The Grand at (207) 667-9500 or online.

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Bangor is a great city to be a citizen of, especially when it comes time to vote. Once again, they have In Person Absentee Voting set up at the Civic Center. Starting today, October 27,  until Saturday, Nov. 1, any resident of Bangor can vote between the hours of 8am and 6pm at the Civic Center. Election day voting will be held in the local polling places, and if you’re not sure where to vote on election day, you can find out at the city’s website. Maine is especially wonderful in that you can register on election day, so if you are a new resident, bring some ID to your polling place to register and vote at the same time. Maine has always had high voter turnout, and Bangor has often had the highest in the state — our last presidential election, 89% of registered voters showed up! This year is expected to be even higher, so early voting (technically, in person absentee, as your votes aren’t seen til election day) is a great time saver for busy families. Plus, going at a slower (we hope) time allows you to take your children to see the democratic process in action, and, free sticker! All around, a great setup.

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United Cerebral Palsy is once again holding Pumpkins in the Park, on Saturday, October 25, from 3:30-7 pm at the Bangor Civic Center.

6th annual community Halloween Party Featuring hundreds of jack-o-lanterns, bounce houses, face painting, hayrides, clowns, balloon-tying, and trick-or-treating.

Admission is $2, and kids under 3 are free!

For more information, visit UCP’s website.

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The First Annual Touch-a-Truck Day will be held Sunday, September 21, 2008. The event will be held at the Bass Park Infield, from 11-3. Admission is $5 per person, children under 2 are free. Funds raised benefit the March of Dimes.

Vehicles to explore will include fire trucks, an ambulance, construction equipment, police vehicles, the LifeFlight helicopter, and much more. Refreshments and raffles will also be available.

Bass Park is home to the Bangor Raceway, and located next to the Bangor Auditorium.

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This has been updated as of May, 2011, and can now be found on its own page.

Childcare

Looking for childcare in Bangor is not an easy task. Here are some resources that may help:

Local childcare providers with a website:

Search services:

  • Penquis: Penquis’ search form requires registration, and I found that I got the most results when I left all fields blank.
  • State of Maine: The state’s website allows you to search for licensed caregiversby ZIP code, town, type of care, and number of children being served.

Advertisers:

  • Craigslist: Maine’s Craigslist offering is pretty heavily weighted to the southern part of the state, but there are occasionally people in the Bangor area posting daycare openings or searching for childcare.
  • BDN Classifieds: There are occasionally openings listed in the BDN classifieds.

Accreditors and Organizations:

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Welcome to summer! The city pools are open!

From the BDN:
BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Parks and Recreation Department is preparing to open the city’s two municipal pools for the summer season. Both pools will be open seven days a week.

The Beth Pancoe Municipal Aquatic Center in Hayford Park will be open for general swim from 1 to 5 p.m. beginning Saturday, June 21. The pool features two water slides, a “zero entry” wade-in area with a variety of water features as well as a lap-swim area.

In addition to afternoon general swim, the Pancoe Aquatic Center is open for adult lap swim from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday as well as family swim time from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Lessons are offered mornings Monday through Thursday.

Day use of the Pancoe Aquatic Center is $1 for Bangor resident children, $2 for Bangor resident adults, $2 for nonresident children, and $4 for nonresidents. Season passes are also available for children, adults and families and may be purchased at the parks and recreation office at 647 Main St.

The Dakin Municipal Pool on Pine Street near Broadway Park will open for general swim at 1 p.m. Monday, June 23. Dakin Pool is located at the end of Pine Street just off Stillwater Avenue. Dakin Pool is open from 1 to 5 p.m. every day. There is no charge to swim at Dakin Pool.

Hours for both facilities may vary in the event of bad weather.

For information on municipal pool programming, call Bangor Parks and Recreation at 992-4490 or stop by the office at 647 Main St.

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